27. — 30. 7. 2023


27. — 30. 7. 2023

Eleventh Hirt helped Rota keep the yellow jersey

Czech cyclist Jan Hirt brought team mate Lorenzo Rota home in sixth place at Dlouhé stráně and helped him retain the yellow jersey of the leader of the overall Sazka Tour classification. Hirt took eleventh place in the third stage and was particularly active on the final hill. The 150-kilometre long stage from Moravská Třebová, with a total climb of 2,730 metres, was won by Kamiel Bonneu of Belgium, who narrowly defeated Anthon Charming of Denmark.

Not long after the start, a group of twelve riders managed to break away, including four Czechs. They maintained their lead for much of the race, but roughly thirty kilometres before the finish line, on the first climb up Dlouhé stráně, they were overtaken. The main peloton came together for the second climb up the dreaded hill in the Jeseníky. But then it broke up, and the riders of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux team were very active.

Hirt felt much better today than on previous stages. "It was good, I could have gone for a result for myself too," said Hirt. But his task was to support his teammates. "I think I could have attacked today, but I was pacing the guys on the last hill and I'm very happy that it worked out and we kept the yellow jersey, even though we lacked the finish and we weren't on the podium. The others had better legs at the end today. But the race was nice today, it was a good thing that the weather improved and we cooled down a bit and luckily we didn't get wet," said Hirt.

Sunday’s final stage of the SAZKA Tour covers 180 kilometres from Šumperk to Šternberk, and the cyclists will have 2,720 metres of altitude to climb. There are several challenging climbs, but it can be expected that Hirt's team will retain the overall lead. "Tomorrow it will suit our guys better, there’s more of a technical ride, so I believe we can stay in front," added Hirt, who will be riding for the leading Quick Step team next year.

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